Academic journal article Education & Treatment of Children

Video Modeling and Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Survey of Caregiver Perspectives

Academic journal article Education & Treatment of Children

Video Modeling and Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Survey of Caregiver Perspectives

Article excerpt


Video modeling (VM) has shown promise as an effective intervention for individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD); however, little is known about what may promote or prevent caregivers' use of this intervention. While VM is an effective tool to support skill development among a wide range of children in research and clinical settings, VM is still not used routinely by caregivers of individuals with ASD. In the current study, we examined the extent to which caregivers of children with ASD have experience with VM and explored their beliefs about using a newly developed scale, the Video Modeling Perceptions Scale (VMPS). In addition, we conducted exploratory psychometric analyses of the scale to determine its feasibility for use in assessing caregivers' perceptions of VM. In general, the VMPS appears to be an informative tool for analyzing caregivers' perceptions of VM. Caregivers held positive perceptions of VM and viewed it as something that could be helpful for their children.

Keywords: autism, video modeling, caregiver perspectives, factor analysis


Currently 1 in 68 children is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), with some locations in the United States reporting rates as high as 1 in 47 children (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2014). To receive a diagnosis of ASD, children must exhibit deficits in social communication and demonstrate repetitive behavior or interests (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). To address the needs of children with ASD, numerous interventions have been created to develop their cognitive, behavioral, communicative, and interpersonal skills. One such approach, video modeling (VM), appears to be growing in relevance, practicality, and popularity among those (i.e., caregivers and practitioners) who work with individuals with ASD. VM's promise as an effective, efficient, and socially acceptable practice may be impeded, however, if caregivers are unaware of or fail to use this technology. Presently, little is known about caregivers' knowledge or use of VM with children with ASD and/or what factors may promote or impede their application. This article (a) summarizes briefly research on VM with a particular emphasis on caregivers and children with ASD; (b) describes a scale for assessing caregivers' perceptions of VM, the Video Modeling Perceptions Scale (VMPS), and provides some initial technical adequacy data; and (c) discusses implications for future practice and research.


VM is a training technique that has been used for over 40 years with individuals with special needs (e.g., intellectual disability and behavioral disorders), although applications with individuals with ASD have emerged only over the past decade or so (Ayres & Langone, 2005; Bellini & Akullian, 2007; Buggey, Toombs, Gardener, & Cervetti, 1999; Charlop-Christy, Le, & Freeman, 2000). VM procedures typically include (a) recording target actions with some type of recording device (e.g., camcorder, tablet computer, computer, or smartphone), (b) playing back the video models via an electronic medium (e.g., television, computer, portable DVD player, tablet computer, or smartphone), (c) providing social reinforcement for appropriate responses, (d) playing back the video model for inappropriate responses, and (e) after reaching a criterion level, fading the video model with opportunities provided for live imitation (Cardon, 2012). In 2009 the National Autism Council recognized VM as an "established treatment." It is one of many evidence-based practices recognized by the council.

Empirical Support for VM

Research examining the effectiveness of VM has included familiar and unfamiliar peers, siblings, and adults as video models (D'Ateno, Mangiapanello, & Taylor, 2003; Reagon, Higbee, & Endicott, 2006). In general, individuals with ASD demonstrated increased target actions in response to video models regardless of who was performing the target actions. …

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